Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Math Learning Center


(All images in this post are animated. Hold your cursor over them. iPad and Android users will need to touch the image.)

Math Learning Center has been providing quality math learning resources for several years. They have been providing digital math manipulatives for the iPad that many of my teachers already utilize. They also have web tools that would work fantastic for teachers that have an interactive whiteboard or touch enabled PC or Chromebook. If you hover over the image at the top, you can quickly see how to find the free web tools Math Learning Center has to offer. (Either that or you could just click here, but I'm proud of my animated pictures.


Geoboard

When East Noble School Corporation first adopted iPads, teachers loved the Geoboard app. The most annoying part of using real geoboards is that students (much like myself) like to take the rubber bands and have flipping contests in the middle of class! The digital version was a revelation as there were fewer behavior problems and less cleanup. 

Pattern Shapes

Pattern Shapes are great for exploring geometry and fractions. I loved using pattern shapes to conceptualize equivalent fractions for fourth graders. The hardest part for students was seeing how I was manipulating the shapes. When I finally purchased a set of overhead pattern shapes, it helped quite a bit. Having it on your interactive whiteboard and students using the iPad app is a powerful combination. Students could also snap screenshots of their work and send them to the teacher. 

Number Pieces

How often do you want to use base 10 blocks and not have enough for all students? How often does your supply of base 10 blocks dwindle down because students lose the pieces? Number pieces is a good solution for students to quickly grab and manipulate a set of base 10 blocks. I have numerous teachers already using the iPad app because students can show their work by pulling blocks and writing on the canvas. 

Number Line

Number Line is handy as the user can change the format of the line and even customize it to make specific jumps. In the sample below, I changed the number line to jump 23 at each point. The customization would help students that need to conceptualize multiplication. Outside of math lessons, I thought this would be a great tool to use for creating a customized timeline. I am frequently asked about what teachers could use for quick and easy timelines (that students under the age of 13 can use). (There is an iPad app as well.)


Number Rack

Number Rack is a good tool for students that need to visualize counting by fives and tens for addition/subtraction fluency. If necessary, users can add multiple racks for adding multiple numbers and write directly on the canvas. Straight stick lines are also available for drawing so that the teacher can easily split between sets of numbers for visual aid. (iPad app available as well.) 


Number Frames

Number Frames help students groups of five and ten onto a frame. There are multiple frames students can select between five, ten, twenty, or one hundred. Users can also change the color of chips individually as a group. There is a lasso tool available for grabbing clusters of chips and manipulating them. It does take some practice, but users can then set the chips on the frame with the tool automatically placing them in neatly. This would be a great resource for students to access on their iPad to demonstrate their number sense and computational skills. Have students write their name on their work, take a screenshot and send it off to the teacher. 



Math Vocabulary Cards

Math Vocabulary Cards can be broken down by grade level as well as by specific skills. In the example provided below, you can see that you can select different deck sets and cover up either the term, definition or example. These visual cards would be a great resource to post on the board. The default setting is that the entire deck is selected. Students would need to learn how to manipulate the deck so that they get the desired set on their iPad. A great feature would be if the teacher could create accounts and assign specific decks to students. These vocabulary cards are also available in Spanish. 



All of these tools are available for free online or on the iOS app store. I highly recommend trying them out if you have a projector, interactive whiteboard, or are in a 1:1 technology setting.